Sloane's phone rings, and he picks up. The operator informs him that there's a call for him that was routed through Credit Dauphine. Sloane's all, take a message, dumb-ass! What do we pay you for? The operator's all, uh, simmer down, Detective Don't Dream It's Over! The guy on the line says it's about your not-quite-dead-yet wife, okay? General Get It On (Bang A Gong) goes completely white, dismisses Sark, and orders the operator to put the call through and record it.
Brigadier Breakout says hello, and a distorted voice comes on the line and says, "We have your wife, and, yes, she's alive. You will provide us with the account numbers for all SD-6's investments or the Alliance will be informed that you failed to carry out her execution." Ron Rifkin doesn't blink ONCE during this call. Or if he does, it's so quick that I miss it. He's like a desert lizard, dudes. "Offer me proof that she's alive," he spits. "Until then, know this: as soon as I hang up the phone I will use every available resource to find out who I'm talking to and when I do, it will be my sincere pleasure to make your acquaintance." Man. Ron Rifkin can be seriously scary when he puts his mind to it. After he delivers this speech, he looks like he's about to open his mouth, insert the mouthpiece, clamp down, rip it off, and start chewing like it's a veal bone or something.
Uzbekistan. Land Of Crude Oil, The Great Silk Road, And Savory Shashlik. Oh, and I forgot to mention the opium. No, not the opium I'm smoking right now. The opium that everyone on the TV is smoking right now. Yeah, opium. Opiummmmm...
Ahem. So, we're hanging out in an opium den. Dix and Syd are paying a visit to Sokolov, who looks remarkably like this guy that used to date my friend Kathy in college. I know it's not him, however, because there's not a half-empty Schlitz in his left hand and a Marlboro in his right, and he's not shouting, "Yo! Kathy! What'd you do with my weed?"
Sokolov's insulted that Sark didn't pay a visit himself. Dix assures him that he'll pass that message on. Syd, meanwhile, just sits there looking vaguely Cleopatra-esque, what with her kohl-lined eyes and razor-sharp hair. Sokolov treats himself to a nice hefty hit on the hookah, and Syd tries to speed up the process by reminding Sokolov that they're on a schedule. "Do you have the codes?" she asks. "Do you have the money?" he counters. Dix slaps a briefcase onto the table. Sokolov opens it, checks out the cash, closes it, and places it beside his chair. Then he picks up a different case and plops it on the table. Dixon reaches for it. "Wait!" Sokolov snaps. "The codes are on a computer in this case. The case, before I stole it, belonged to a colonel in the Uzbek army. What I didn't realize when I made the offer to Sark is that without the colonel's fingerprint, the case cannot be opened without detonating a self-destruct mechanism inside. Boom!" He grins.